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Wedding Ideas

My Favorite Bridesmaids Gifts

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My Favorite Bridesmaids Gifts

I get the question all of the time from my couples, “What should I give my wedding party as a thank you?”

These are the people closest to you, they’ve planned along side you for months now and you want to show your appreciation. My first suggestion is a hand written note. Add on a customized gift, and you’re set! I personally love gifts that the wedding party can use on the wedding day, and then thereafter, such as robes, makeup bags, cute cups, mugs and wine glasses. Or perhaps, a pretty necklace is more your style?

Either way, I’ve picked out some of my favorite gifts from Bridesmaidsgiftboutique.com! They graciously sent me my own customized gift so I could ensure that my brides would appreciate the experience of ordering and LOVE the product!

Makeup Bags

LOVE getting makeup bags… can you ever really have too many? I use them to keep organized in my purse, of course for traveling, and even for more organized packing. Add in wedding colors and my initials and I’m sold! I picked this bag for my gift as I liked the simple gold script. Order your own here.

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Gift Sets

When something already comes beautifully packaged, I’m all about it. Yes, you could go buy all of the components separately, but why not let someone else do the work? I love the “getting ready” photos of everyone wearing a matching robe, and having a wine glass with your name on it really just makes it easier to find your beverage when there are 10 other mimosas in the room! Click here to shop!

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Yoga Mats

One of the coolest ideas a bride has had for the morning of her wedding was hiring a personal yoga instructor to guide her wedding party through a slow, relaxing flow. They were able to start the day feeling refreshed! Get a personalized yoga mat for each of them - talk about unique! Buy them here.

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We haven’t forgotten about the guys! Check out their sister (or brother, I should say) company for all of the fun, personalized gifts your groomsmen could want! The caricature faces on mugs are my favorite!

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Guest's Guide: What to Wear to Weddings

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Guest's Guide: What to Wear to Weddings

Figuring out what to wear to a wedding can be quite the task. But dressing to impress as your family or friends say "I do" doesn't have to be difficult. Check out this guide from The Black Tux for what you can wear to a wedding this summer and fall!

Wedding Guest Style Guide The Black Tux.jpg

Always be sure to read the invitation for any attire guidelines!

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Houston's Top Historic Wedding Venues

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Houston's Top Historic Wedding Venues

In continuation of our Houston Wedding Venue blog list, let's move on to Historic Venues in the Houston area!

These venues boast such unique interiors, have a history that your guests will enjoy and simply beautiful. Whether you're looking to go industrial, museum like, or just appreciate the story behind the structure, be sure to add these to your tour list for this summer!

Tips when touring wedding venues: 

1. Inquire about pricing and capacity prior to your visit! You don't want to show up and fall in love with the place only to find out that it's out of your budget or can't accommodate your guest list.

2. Consider a rain plan for any outdoor activities for your wedding day- especially your ceremony! Do you like their Plan B for the ceremony or cocktail hour? What will rain do to the parking lot?

3. If there is a caterer included or required, inquire with them as well before touring. Get menu pricing per person or ask for a general quote for your guest count. This could easily make or break the decision to tour!

Now to the list...

Houston Historic Wedding Venues:

Historic Wedding Venues in Houston | Olde Dobbin Station

Olde Dobbin Station

Located in Montgomery, TX, this quaint venue has an indoor ceremony space, now with central heat and air conditioning, as well as a large reception space with built in bar and enough space for up to 300 guests.

The bridal suite and groom's suite are on the smaller side, so depending on your wedding party count, you may consider doing hair and makeup offsite.

Website

Note: They require you to use their bar services, but there are many packages to choose from! 

Houston Historic Wedding Venues | Buffalo Soldier's Museum

Buffalo Soldiers Museum

Yes, at first glance this space is very industrial, but it's so unique! Add in a lighting package, some draping and you've transformed the space with beautiful windows and natural lighting into the perfect space. Also centrally located in Midtown, it's super convenient to some of the major churches in the area!

Bonus, guests can tour the museum downstairs as they may their way to cocktail hour!

Website

Note: As I mentioned, I would budget for additional lighting and decor to soften the space and make it feel more "wedding like"

Historic Wedding Venues in Houston | The Cotton Gin in Brookshire

Cotton Gin 116 in Brookshire

This place is SUCH a gem. Located just west of Katy in Brookshire, it has a real cotton gin located in the lobby. Guests will appreciate being able to mingle for drinks and dancing around this unique space. You can have an indoor or outdoor ceremony, and this location is also great for rehearsal dinners!

Website

Note: This venue is best for smaller guests counts if you'd like a seated dinner. Max Capacity is between 80-100.

Historic Wedding Venues in Houston | Heights Fire Station

Heights Fire Station

Not to be confused with Station 3, another historic fire station in the area! The Heights Fire Station is quaint and affordable. The bricked exterior is adorable, and the white interior gives you a blank slate for your wedding design! They also partner with two parks in the area which would be great ceremony sites.

Website

Note: You may prefer to rent different chairs to elevate the look of your wedding. Clear cut pricing is on the website too.

Hotel Icon | Houston Historic Wedding Venues

Hotel Icon - Downtown Houston

You may be familiar with the hotel in downtown, but didn't know about their wedding reception spaces. Quaint decor, but recently upgraded rooms create the perfect wedding weekend getaway. They can host your ceremony and reception without sacrificing the look or experience for your guests. They also have unique smaller spaces for rehearsal dinners!

Website

Tip: I LOVE booking weddings at hotels- you get the ultimate expereince by having a full service, 24 hour staff. 

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Houston's Top Garden Style Wedding Venues

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Houston's Top Garden Style Wedding Venues

Hey #newlyengaged! We hear from couples all of the time about their struggle to find their perfect wedding venue. While this is a service we offer, we wanted to also highlight some of our favorite venues in each category. 

This post, we're focusing on those dreamy garden-style venues. Outdoor ceremony or cocktail options, natural lighting- love, love love!

Also, check out our post about Houston's top Modern Event Venues too!

Houston's Top Garden Style Wedding Venues:

Houston's Top Wedding Venues | River Oaks Garden Club

River Oaks Garden Club

Ya'll, this little gem is tucked away in the middle of River Oaks! You've probably driven by so many times, and didn't even notice! It boasts gorgeous gardens, a gazebo, indoor areas for food or dinner. Perfect for hosting your reception, or smaller ceremonies + receptions. I encourage stations for food service to really allow people to mingle through the space!

Website

Tip: You will need to bring in all of your own tables and chairs!

Houston's Garden Style Weddings | The Grove Weddings

The Grove- in Discovery Green

Not only just a restaurant, you can choose from the different sized rooms with floor to ceiling windows for your reception! The upstairs patio feels like you're floating in the trees, and it's such a convenient location being directly downtown. Have your guests stay right across the street at either the Marriott Marquis or Hilton of the Americas.

Website

Tip: You can even host rehearsal dinners here!

The Dunlavy Weddings | Garden Style Wedding Venues in Houston

The Dunlavy

Nestled right into Buffalo Bayou is the venue "in the trees!" The Dunlavy is both ultra luxe, boasts a fantastic menu, has top notch service and is stunning! Everything about this venue tells your guests that they're in for a fun night! Note that the guest count is limited to 100, and it's a little more comfortable to host your ceremony offsite, but they have the patio as your ceremony option!

Website

Tip: Be sure to hire professionals for floral and decor as you have very limited time for set up!

Houston Garden Style Wedding Venues| McGovern Centennial Gardens

McGovern Centennial Gardens

Looking for a garden style venue in the heart of the Museum District? McGovern Centennial Gardens is for you! You can rent the Celebration Garden for your ceremony and move inside to their reception space for dancing. Or, flip the Garden for your dinner and dancing. This is also a great place to take your bridal or engagement portraits! Just be sure to ask your photographer to get permission.

Website

Tip: They have a required Caterer list, so be sure to factor their pricing into your overall budget!

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Houston's Top Modern Wedding Venues

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Houston's Top Modern Wedding Venues

Choosing your Houston Wedding Venue

Houston's wedding industry is booming, and there are more options than ever on where and how to get married. Small, intimate weddings, off-beat, unique weddings, or your traditional ballroom affair, you're covered! 

When I meet with couples, I always joke with them that the venue search is the next, biggest choice after choosing who they want to marry! It's the biggest choice for three reasons: 

1. It's the bulk of your wedding budget (if you include food, beverage, possible rentals)

2. It sets the tone for your entire wedding design- the look and feel for the night

3. It begins to set the experience you'll be building for your guests from here on

Houston Modern Wedding Venues

In today's post, I want to focus on Houston's Modern Wedding and Event Venues. These are typically described as a room or building with clean lines, neutral or white color schemes, unique, modern architecture and boast open, well thought out spaces.

Houston's Top Modern Wedding Venues | 5226 Elm

5226 Elm

Located in the Bellaire area, off of 610 (South of the Galleria) 5226 Elm is both an event venue and photography studio. The ballroom area has tall ceilings, all white walls and is a blank space for you to play with lighting, draping and any color scheme you can imagine. They have a gorgeous outdoor courtyard as well as some unique rooms for an interactive layout. Website

Note: You will need to rent all of your tables and chairs!

Top Modern Wedding Venues in Houston | Asia Society

Asia Society Museum

Both Museum and Event or Wedding venue, the layout of the space is just gorgeous. Unique water features make the space feel serene, with a ton of natural light. You are able to host both your ceremony and reception on site and the staff is amazing to work with! Website

Note: There is also a back up Indoor Ceremony space if weather isn't on your side!

Hyatt Regency Galleria | Houston Modern Wedding and Event Venues

Hyatt Regency Galleria

This hotel makes the list as it's interiors are modern in colors, with funky chandeliers and open pre-function space. They have unique options to host many events for your wedding day weekend, as well as large parties of 500! Centrally located and with a beautiful lobby, even if you don't host your wedding here, the room blocks are convenient!

Note: Their Lobby Bar and Breakfast areas rock!

Houston Event Venue | Modern Wedding Venues | Houston Modern event venues

Houston Event Venue

Such a vague name, but this space is a photography studio when it's not hosting events. Parking doesn't require valet (yay!) and they have two spaces, one smaller and perfect for a ceremony, one larger for a reception. Exposed bricks and white walls, with open ceilings bring in a touch of industrial; but, I personally love a space you can make into any theme you'd like! Website

Note: You will need to bring in all tables and chairs- any lighting will be crucial to setting the tone!

 

 

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Tips for Planning your Pre-Ceremony Photos

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Tips for Planning your Pre-Ceremony Photos

 Photo by Smith House Weddings

Photo by Smith House Weddings

Over the years, and through building timelines with many photographers, I’ve picked up a couple of tips to consider when planning your pre-ceremony photo timeline.

You’ve seen these photos, whether or not you realized that careful planning went into capturing them. The beautiful display of your invitation suite, with your flowers and jewelry perfectly placed between. The image of the gorgeous bride, buckling her shoe, with the sun beaming in through the window behind her. Her and her bridesmaids laughing, while holding a champagne flute. The exchange of your letter to your groom, holding his hand from behind a door, as you prepare for your first look.

These don’t happen by accident, but these photos are some of your most cherished after the wedding day is over and you’re basking in your post-honeymoon glow! So, to make the most of your morning, and the hours before you walk down the aisle, consider the following tips!

 Photo by Sasha Boheme

Photo by Sasha Boheme

1.     Getting Ready Location- The Garden Grove has no angle or spot on the property that wasn’t perfectly designed to be a backdrop at any given moment. Take advantage of this and ensure your bridesmaids get dressed in a separate room than where you will get dressed, or where you will get your hair and makeup done. Why? To reduce the amount of clutter, (bags, shoes, dress hangars) in the background of your photos. As soon as your photographer arrives on site, you want to take advantage of every second possible; not spend time cleaning the room while they wait!

2.     Lighting and Sunset Time- If you’re getting married in the winter months, you have a very strict schedule to adhere to… the sun’s. If you want to ensure you get outdoor photos with prime lighting, set your ceremony earlier. Also, consider having a First Look, so you can get family and wedding party photos done prior to the ceremony. This enables you to have additional bride and groom photos after the ceremony, or a private dinner for just you two!

3.     Photography Shot List- Sit down with your Planner and Photographer to review your photography timeline together. This will best prepare you and your family for when you will be doing formal portraits. If we’re able to plan for a first look, family and siblings will need to be dressed and ready prior to the ceremony to be a part of these photos. If we’re going with a more traditional timeline, let’s ensure those family members who will be in photos, know to stick around after the ceremony.

 Photo by Kasey Lynn Photo

Photo by Kasey Lynn Photo

Bridal Portraits in the Woodlands | Houston Wedding Planner

Open communication and careful planning with your wedding planner and photographer will ensure you make the most out of your wedding day in regard to photos. These are the images you’ll have framed on your desk or displayed throughout your home, and you want them to perfectly capture your hard work you put into planning everything!

Want to get coffee and chat about your wedding timeline? Let us know!

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Our Favorite Bridesmaids Gifts from Etsy

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Our Favorite Bridesmaids Gifts from Etsy

Etsy... you may have heard of this site where you can get everything imaginable? Oh, you also buy handmade goods from there every week like me?! 

If you're unfamiliar, be prepared to spend a few hours favoriting items for purchase later, but first, start with this list of my favorite bridesmaids gifts from Etsy! These are perfect when you're asking your girlfriends to be a bridesmaid, or as a Thank you! for spending months planning with and supporting you! 

Cotton Robe with Lace Detail

My Favorite Bridesmaids Gifts from Etsy | Cotton Robes for Getting Ready | Robes with Monograms

Get them customized, (of course!) with their names or initials, pick the size, color and voila! What I love most about these robes (which can be found here) is that the cotton is great for warm weather, like getting ready here in Houston 10 months out of the year. The lace detail is perfectly feminine, and from the look of the other photos, they aren't too short in length! *Praise hands!*

Custom Gold Ring

My Favorite Bridesmaids Gifts from Etsy | Rose Gold Ring | Ring with your name

Better for your ladies with short names, or you could have them all say "LOVE"

It comes in gold or, our favorite, rose gold, and you can find them here! Minimalist is in, especially for jewelry, and I think your girls will love these!

Floral Cosmetic Bag

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I've gone through many-a-cosmetic-bags, simply because I use it every day! These floral, custom bags are perfect for any lady in your wedding party. For another bonus, stuff them with wedding day essentials like Tylenol, tissues, chapstick, or bandaids!

Get them here!

I hope you enjoy some of these easy, but sweet ideas for saying thank you to your bridal party! See you soon!

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Wedding Gift Guide for Guests

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Wedding Gift Guide for Guests

Hi All!

I've had some couples ask me recently about the etiquette surrounding wedding gifts, so I thought I'd make a quick post addressing just that! This is a quick guide for both couples and their guests on approaching the subject of wedding gifts and registries.

 
Wedding Gift Guide for Guests- Houston Wedding Planning, Wedding Tips- Gift Guide
 

1. The Registry

Many couples are opting for honeymoon funds, or trying to navigate how to ask for cash to buy a home. While these are practical and more modern ways of having a wedding registry, we still recommend to have a traditional registry available to guests who would prefer to buy you a gift. So head on down to Bed, bath and Beyond and start scanning! If you would like a honeymoon/home buying fund, I'd suggest an online site where you can write a little story about why you're opting for this as a way to receive gifts. Personalize it! 

TIP: Never list the registry or gift request on an invitation! It should be listed on your website, or told to guests via word of mouth/ by family and wedding party who host showers.

2. Wedding or Bridal Showers

Bridal showers are traditionally hosted by the bridesmaids, although parents and siblings may also want to host. If you have more than one bridal shower (or a couples shower) it can seem like a lot to ask of guests to attend more than one. Only close family and wedding party are typically invited to every shower, so try to keep the guest list different for each one (for example, a work one, or one for guests from a specific state, like your college crew). When it comes to gifts, showers are a great opportunity to buy the couple a wedding gift before the wedding. If you're invited to a shower, it is proper to bring a gift, unless otherwise specified. Recently, a couple of mine opted to ask for recipes at a couples shower, since many of the guests were also invited to the Bridal shower. 

3. Myth of When to Send a Gift

It is a popular misconception that guests are able to send a wedding gift up to a year after a wedding, so be sure to send it before the wedding date.

4. Thank you's from the Couple

Couples, be sure to keep a list of the gifts you received and from whom, as to reference it for thank you notes, or if you happen to host them at your house for dinner- it would mean a lot if you were able to show off the china you received from your Aunt over Christmas!

TIP: All Thank You notes should be sent within two months of the wedding

 
Wedding Gift Guide for Guests- Houston Wedding Planning, Wedding Tips- Gift Guide
 

Hope this helps! If you'd like to chat more about Wedding Etiquette, shoot us an email!

Photos by Smith House Photo

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Alice May + Andrew: Married at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX

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Alice May + Andrew: Married at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX

If you follow me on social media (Insta, Facebook), then you may have seen me mention this special couple. They were the first future Mr. & Mrs. referred to me from a past bride. Not only that, but they both attended that wedding and the groom, dapper and calm, Andrew, was the best man!

It was truly a joy helping Alice May and her mother plan this wedding. She spoke so highly of everyone involved and wanted to ensure her and Andrew made the most of their shared time with their loved ones. The fabulous creative team is listed below! Ultra shout out to Nicole of Nicole Ryan Photography for sharing these images!

Venue: The Trolley Station, Galveston, TX

Catering/Linens: Chopin Mon Ami Catering

Cake: Cakes by Jula

Photography and Photo booth: Nicole Ryan Photo

Flowers: Island Flowers

Coordination: Plan Our Day Houston

Gorgeous lighting, fabulous people- a wedding sure to be remembered! Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your day!

Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Coordinators
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Coordinators
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Coordinators
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners | Marsala and White bouquet
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners | Naked Cake with fresh berries
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners | Naked cake with fresh berries
Wedding at the Trolley Station in Galveston, TX | Houston and Galveston Wedding Planners

 

 

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2017 Wedding Trends

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2017 Wedding Trends

 
 Photo by Smith House Photography

Photo by Smith House Photography

 

Pop the champagne- it is Engagement season! If you're like me, you've seen so many of your friends or family members get engaged this holiday season- and it's not over! So bookmark this article and share it with the lovely brides-to-be as soon as they've settled down from celebrating!

2017 Wedding Trends

 
 Photo by Smith House Photography

Photo by Smith House Photography

 

1. Revamped Rustic

Yes, we've seen and retired the burlap and lace-wrapped mason jars, but that doesn't mean we still don't love those gorgeous, historic barns, or the sweet, vintage details! So, we're revamping the rustic-chic by adding a touch of glam and whimsy. Indulge in luscious blooms, surrounded by sparking mirror-top tables, mixed metal stem and flat ware and large focal points; such as a boxwood lined lounge area or glimmering chandeliers.

2. Minimalist 

This doesn't mean skimping on the details. It's changing your focus to what is already beautiful; a garden venue with fresh flowers, or a modern space with tons of lighting features. Minimalist design appreciates negative space and incorporates an industrial feel, such as using acrylic accents, or monochromatic color schemes.

2017 Wedding Trends | Pantone Color of the Year Kale | Via Burnett's Boards
2017 Wedding Trends | Kale Pantone Color of the Year 2017

3. Kale

Say, what?! Kale- it's the Pantone color of 2017! Let's embrace those neutral hues, such as eggshell, dusty blue, kale green and champagne tones. Liven it up with tons of candle light, greenery and wooden chargers or farm tables.

 
2017 Wedding Trends | Glitter Donuts | Courtesy of the Frosted Petticoat
 

4. Glitter Donuts and Meringues

Using edible glitter of course! Add these sweet edibles to your cake table or use them as guest favors. They are sure to delight and add a touch of whimsy. Nom!

5. Over-the-top

Mismatched flatware, stemware, chargers and napkins- all within the same color scheme. Varied textures, table runners, overlays and chair adornments. Lighting, draping and chandeliers and hanging florals. YAS! Did I mention how important lighting was? 

If you'd like to indulge in any of the these 2017 Wedding Trends with me- let me know! And, while we're at it, we can plan the unique touch to add to YOUR wedding!

 

 

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